Current Events and Young People
Young people are inundated with a lot of information from sources ranging from their social media accounts to their friends. Information can get distorted or a little confusing as it moves through all these channels. It is more than likely your young person has been reading up or hearing about the current events happening in the reproductive health space, such as Title X, abortion bans, and the need for increased access to birth control.
The next generation is eager to learn and get activated, but first, they might have a couple questions. As their champion, here are some tips on how to answer their most pressing questions about what’s happening. And, if they’re not asking these questions, use these tips to help start that conversation.
News Headline: 'Domestic Gag Rule’
The Title X Family Planning Program is the nation’s only federal funding dedicated to providing those most in need with free or low-cost contraceptive care. But in August, the “domestic gag rule” began to force many health centers to leave the Title X program and give up millions of dollars that have been used to provide low-income people with the care that they need. Many outlets that your young person may turn to such as Bustle, Refinery29 and Teen Vogue have covered this harmful rule, and they may have some questions about not only their access, but other young people’s access to reproductive health services across the Nation.
Currently, 19.5 million women of reproductive age living in the US are in need of publicly funded contraception and live in contraceptive deserts. As a result of the domestic gag rule, more than 390 counties have lost all or some access to services supported by Title X, impacting approximately 8.7 million low-income women. Your young person may be curious about what is happening and if it will affect them or any of their friends. It’s important to explain this new rule as well as the ways in which people are still able to access reproductive health services.
Many young people these days are activists either via social media or marching in the streets. One way your young person can get active surrounding the Domestic Gag Rule is to send a message to their representatives demanding that they protect the integrity of the Title X Program.
Not too caught up with the latest on this rule? Check out our blog before talking to your young person.
News Headline: Telemedicine
Thanks to technology, it’s now possible to get access to health care without stepping foot in a provider’s office. The futuristic practice has made headlines, so your young person may have some questions about the process. Along with being able to get prescriptions for dermatology, simple antibiotics, and even blood type testing, telemedicine is a great way to get birth control delivered to your door. There are quite a few options out there, so it’s important that your young person knows what to look for in a service. They may have questions about what’s available, how they’re going to pay for it, and what kind of permission they might need. Each service has different features and resources, so it’s a good idea to study up before choosing a provider. They can also see which services are available in their area on our clinic finder.
As previously mentioned, millions of US women live without access to birth control. We’ve partnered with telemedicine companies, like Nurx, Prjkt Ruby, Simple Health, Hey Doctor, and Twentyeight Health, to provide low-income women access to the birth control they need and deserve. Donate to BCBenefits, our contraceptive fund, to help women across the country get the birth control that’s right for them. A $50 donation supports a woman’s access to birth control for a year.
News Headline: Abortion Bans
Over the past year or so, several states have introduced legislation to ban abortions outright. To date, nine US states have passed some type of ban on abortion. Seeing something like this in the news can be daunting for a young person, causing them to worry about their own futures. Whether your young person is sexually active or not, it's important they understand how recent abortion bans function.
Abortion is a legal, safe, and common medical procedure. Even after Roe v Wade, legalized abortion in the United States more than 40 years ago, there were already state-level barriers in place, like laws that require special counseling or make people wait a certain amount of time between counseling and having the abortion. The abortion bans that are making headlines today are another layer of restrictions placed on individuals seeking out the full spectrum of reproductive care.
These proposed laws vary by state, with many not including exceptions for victims of rape or incest, and others criminalizing abortion from the moment of fertilization. If your young person asks, it’s important for them to know that none of the bans are in effect yet. To date, courts across the country are working to block these bans from taking effect, like most recently in Georgia.
It's important to have many of these conversations surrounding reproductive health year-round, regardless of what’s making waves in the news. Knowledge is power. Your young person might have a question about what's going on or could simply be curious about their own situation. If so, check out our Champion’s Guide on all the tips and resources you need to start these meaningful conversations about sex, love, and relationships with the young person in your life. If your young person is curious but doesn’t want to have that conversation with you, send them to our Teen Talk page.